How the Irish in Britain undermine British nationhood

In the entry, “What the British—and all of us—have lost,” a British reader spoke of the tragedy that has befallen Britain. I sent him, under the subject line, “Speaking of tragic loss,” an old VFR entry, “Ireland has rapidly growing immigrant population,” and he wrote back:

It is tragic. The only thing I will say is that many of the greatest proponents of mass immigration to Britain, the most vociferous “anti-racists” I have met, have been people of Irish descent, including one of my best friends. We have argued about this many times. I have sometimes wondered what impact they have had on the debate in England (a quarter of British people are of Irish descent). I put this down to the fact that they are Nationalists at heart, with a very deep love of Ireland, but patriotism makes little sense when you are not in the land you love, and so they allow their patriotism to be twisted into a narrative of victims fighting oppression generally, as a kind of surrogate for the struggle against the British. So they end up being either anti-British Marxists or Anarchists. Argue with them about immigration and two points will come up very quickly—that they are Irish, so am I saying they should not be in the country, and, secondly, a litany of all the things we have done to the Irish, my “racism” being typically “English” behaviour. It is, I suppose, a similar phenomenon to left-wing Jews. Not living in a land you identify with leaves a hole in your soul which must be filled by something other than patriotism. The natural sense of brotherhood is replaced by the “brotherhood of man.”

I asked my friend once whether he supported mass immigration to Ireland. Without pausing to think he said, “No.” I asked why and he said, “Because the Irish are too racist.” I did half-heartedly point out that English racism had never been a reason for him to want to stop immigration for me, but I did not pursue the point to much: I would rather he loved Ireland than hated it, even if it makes him a hypocrite.

None of which makes things any better. I’d sooner go to Ireland and be hated by real Irishmen than be welcomed by Nigerians!

Here’s an equally depressing video about Palestinians moving to Iceland. I ask you: you have you seen a more incongruous sight in your life? Not just a fish-out-of-water, but a fish-out-of-water attempting to hunt wildebeest on the velt.

LA replies:

“I asked my friend once whether he supported mass immigration to Ireland. Without pausing to think he said, ‘No.’ I asked why and he said, ‘Because the Irish are too racist.’ I did half-heartedly point out that English racism had never been a reason for him to want to stop immigration for me, but I did not pursue the point to much: I would rather he loved Ireland than hated it, even if it makes him a hypocrite.”

You absolutely should have pressed him on that point. All conservatives make this mistake. I made it for years before I realized what I was doing. When we hear a liberal say for once a non-liberal thing, something protective and appreciative of our culture or of true values. we are so happy to find some commonality with him that it doesn’t occur to us that by his own liberal principles he has no right to believe in that non-liberal thing. Why should we allow him any respite from the ruin and misery into which he would put everyone else? We must make liberals see where their liberalism goes, not allow them to indulge in the unprincipled exceptions that enable them to escape the consequences of their liberalism and remain comfortable with their lives.

By his liberal lights, your Irish friend has NO RIGHT to oppose mass immigration into Ireland. You should point out to him that by the same standard by which he supports the racial transformation of Britain he should support the racial transformation of Ireland. Maybe that will make him question his liberalism. But if he is allowed his unprincipled exception which allows him to escape the consequences of liberalism when it suits him, he will have no reason to question liberalism.

The British reader replies:
Believe me, we have been there on many occasions, and it has almost cost us our friendship so many times that I no longer think it worth it. Someone may have already said this before, but the problem is, how do you convince someone he is wrong when he already knows it? I can tell from his body language and voice-tones, when I have really laid it on the line, that he knows the truth. His beliefs actually make no sense when you take them apart. Many left-wingers are intimately bound up with their sense of themselves, and their ego. To change their opinions you would have to take them apart as a person first, and they usually have issues surrounding their own past and identity that make this rather like pulling apart an atom—there would be consequences. My friend’s sense of self worth, morality, almost all his friends and social life, the way he views his own life, is all through the prism of his left-wing politics.

Having said that, what you say is true. It is easy not to press a point too hard because of a sense of gratitude that the other person has at least conceded something. But I know him well. His left wing beliefs are what he is. Admitting he was wrong all along would be like saying “I am nothing, and my past is worthless”. That may sound dramatic, but it’s true. Maybe you think this a cop-out. But I do argue with people—I just choose my battles.

LA replies:

You don’t have to be confrontational with him just to make the logical point: “For the same reasons that you support mass immigration to Britain, you should support it for Ireland. If you don’t support it for Ireland, you should ask yourself why. If the reason is that you think Ireland has the right to preserve its historical identity and peoplehood, then Britain also has that right and you should respect and support that right.”

- end of initial entry -

John L. writes:

How about a thread on the Irish-American contribution to liberalism? I’ve known Irish Americans whose ancestors came over during the potato famine who still hated the English. Did anti-English racial animus contribute to Kennedy’s 1965 immigration bill? On the other hand, Anglo-Saxon types accepted and supported it and civil rights and the whole of the program of liberalism. Probably the thesis won’t stand.

Howard Sutherland writes:

In this post, you explore the role the large numbers of Irish in Great Britain (many of whom are the descendants of dockyard workers and the like who moved to places like Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow a hundred years and more ago) might play in suppressing any healthy British patriotism. Having lived in England and practiced law in London in the 1990s, I must second everything your British reader says. The Irish in Britain—and they are legion, including Irish-born who have used the EU’s labor rules to come work in London (I was amazed even then by how many “English” solicitors I worked with were actually Irish)—are well to the left of the British population as a rule, and very quick to excoriate the English for their sins against Ireland, for imperialism and colonialism as well as their “racism” generally. I’m not English (although of English and Scottish ancestry), and I got thoroughly sick of it pretty quickly. To be fair, some of the Scots one encounters in London are similar—look how many of “New” Labour’s disastrous politicians are Scotsmen, starting with Blair and Brown.

The analogy to Left-wing Jews in America fits. Unfortunately for Britons, in addition to the ingrate Leftist Irish, Britain itself has its own Left-wing Jews (again, look at the “New” Labour line-up for examples, starting with the oft-disgraced, never-replaced Peter Mandelson).

One assimilation problem America has had is what John L. refers to. Irish immigrants came to America already full of resentments against the English and to a lesser degree the Scots, only to find themselves in an America founded and (in those days) still ruled by descendants of her English and Scottish founding settlers. Irish-American resentment of the English and the WASPs are the two sides of their ethnic grievance coin, and—to torture the metaphor—both sides are alive and well. I have known Irish-Americans who voted Republican and thought themselves conservative, yet saw no contradiction in sending money, via Sinn Fein, to the Marxist IRA, all to stick it to the Brits. Too often, their priests saw no contradiction, either.

This is piling on, I know, but I think the Irish dominance of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in America in the past has not been good for the Church. When I look at figures like Cardinal Mahony in Los Angeles and Cardinal Egan in New York, vociferous open-borders propagandists both, I’m still not too happy about it. And as anyone who eats lunch in Midtown Manhattan, with an Irish pub full of young Irish waitresses on every block, knows, there is a very strong illegal alien tradition among the Irish! They are as aggressive amnesty special pleaders as their Mestizo partners in crime, with just as great a sense of entitlement to America.

Back in England and Scotland meanwhile, the hierarchy of the local Roman Catholic churches in both countries is overwhelmingly an ethnic Irish club, and even more liberal and open-borders than the U.S. hierarchy. Does Cormac Murphy-O’Connor (today’s Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster) sound like an Englishman to you? These British (but actually Irish) RC prelates have not the slightest interest in preserving England, Scotland and Wales as British in any sense. With rare exceptions, they show no more interest than their Anglican rivals in even keeping their countries Christian, as they welcome their repopulation by jihadis.

Unfortunately, I think on both sides of the pond, thanks to historic resentments they won’t let go, the Irish have been something of a fifth-column. Certainly with respect to immigration. We’ve all seen the Kennedys at work, and does anyone see Joe Biden—who wants to be the paterfamilias of the next Irish-American political dynasty—as a voice for immigration sanity in Obama’s White House?

Begorrah! But a Merry Christmas to all—including Irishmen, within the Emerald Isle and without.

The British reader writes:

Just want to make it clear I am NOT making a general attack on the Irish in Britain, just one, small sub-set. But there is an irony—it tends to be the people who have thought most deeply about where they come from, and where they feel they can fit in, the kind of people most disposed towards patriotism, who succumb to these feelings. Perhaps some people have a deeper need for continuity than others. Realising that they will never be able to identify fully with Britain, they turn the “idea of Ireland” into a kind of take-anywhere propositional nation, a struggle against oppression carried from Drogheda to anywhere in the world the weak are made victims. This gives them the continuity with the past they crave. [LA replies: the similarity to Jews is stunning. Wherever they are, liberal Jews see themselves as the archetypal outsider group and therefore as the spokesmen for all outsiders. The country they come from is called Outsiderdom.]

A person living in the land of his ancestors does not have to turn his ethnicity into an idea or an abstract set of values.

For a nauseating example of what I refer to, see John Lennon—born in England—perform a song about the Irish. The sentimental, romanticised view of the Irish spouted (rather ludicrously) by Yoko Ono is the typical over-compensation of the man cut off from his roots—notice how he does not even know the name of the charity towards which the profits will go. Fine Irishman he is!

Understanding the importance of ethnicity to a person’s sense of self, and what this can do to a person’s politics if they are cut off from it, has helped me make sense of the world in a lot of ways. For example, Ruth Kelly, a former minister in our Labour Government, is a devout Catholic and even a member of ultra-traditional Opus Dei. How can a woman who professes to be a Catholic traditionalist be a part of the party that legalised abortion, introduced gay adoption (forcing Catholic agencies to close down) and a myriad other things? Easy. Her family is Irish. Her grandfather was a member of the IRA. Her Catholicism is a matter of ethnic loyalty, like her politics.

[LA notes 12-24: On further thought, I have to say that even with the deletions and changes I made in Karen’s below comment, and my stated disagreement with it afterward, her comment remains so sweeping in its condemnations of the Irish, who are, after all, a people of the British Isles, that it amounts to an expression of animus against the entire Irish people. As such, it should not have been posted. However, as it’s already been posted and discussed, I’m not going to take it down, but I do express my strong disagreement with it and ask that Karen, who has keen insights into Britain’s problems, show more care and discrimination in the way she expresses them.]

Karen writes from England:

This is a point which I have been making to you for some time and I am glad that another reader has realised this fact. The British people are the Scots, English and Welsh and Northern Irish Protestants who are ethnically Scots or English and not Irish. The British culture is Protestant and its institutions are based on Protestant values. The Irish (Roman Catholics) were allowed to immigrate en masse to Britain during the industrial revolution and were later allowed to have British citizenship against the will of certain parts of the Conservative party. They have subsequently multiplied and created ghettos. The Irish are a different ethnic group with a different culture, values and temperament, and are largely incompatible with the Protestant Brits. Among Irish communities, there is strong sense of grievance against the Brits for previous misdemeanors, strong support for the IRA/Sinn Fein, and a sense of resentment. Both political parties have been lenient with them and allowed them considerable leeway. The response of the Irish has been one of ingratitude. The IRA have bombed and blasted Britain maiming and killing thousands of innocent people, and each demand which has been met has been followed up by further demands. The Irish communities in Britain are the mainstay of the Labour Party. They have a tribal allegiance to the Labour party as their saviour and protector, and they are its Marxists and Anarchists. They form 40 percent of politicians and have controlled the Labour party and implemeted policies which have betrayed the Brits in Northen Ireland, surrendered to the IRA and promoted mass immigration to Britain. They cry discrimination at every opportunity. The majority of the long term unemployed are Irish, and they have destroyed the cities and parts of cities where they have settled (Kilburn in London being an example). They are involved in gun running for the IRA, drugs, other forms of organised crime and money laundering. It is also highly likely that they are involved with Islamic terrorists. In short they are a 5th column. Likewise in the USA and the point at which the USA started its descent into the present chaos can be traced to JFK. The 1965 Immigration Act was a deliberate act of vandalism.

LA replies:

Karen, as always, has many valuable insights. But she weakens her case by making too sweeping claims such as that the Irish “have destroyed the cities and parts of cities where they have settled,” and where she virtually equates the Irish with the IRA. In her original comment she said, “They have bombed and blasted Britain maiming and killing thousands of innocent people,” where the “they” clearly meant the Irish. I changed “They” to “The IRA.”

Ron L. writes:

The similarity with Jews should not be stunning.

Grievance politics unites disparate minorities in unthinking opposition to the majority, even against rational self interest. The politics of grievance is an unthinking ersatz ethnic loyalty, wherein one defines oneself in opposition, rather than in being. It leads Jews to support political correctness, immigration of Muslims, and Third Worldism, even though these are all against their rational self interest as an Americans or as a Jews. It leads black leaders to support immigration, liberal social politics, and objectively failing education and social models. And this doesn’t just apply to minorities in the West. Grievence politics in the form of anti-colonialism allows the South African regime to support Mugabe’s starvation of fellow Africans in the once prosperous Zimbabwe. This minority nihilism will go on as long as the white West allows it to. We must stand up against it not only for our own survival, but also to save those afflicted with this illness. If the majority in America or the West does so, it will allow the rational loyal members of minorities to be heard. But first the civilizational AIDS of liberalism with its control of the media must be destroyed. Imagine if the media went to Thomas Sowell instead of Jesse Jackson, or Don Feder instead of Abe Foxman. The failure is not only of the Irish, Jews, Blacks, Hispanics. It is that of the English and WASPs.

Philip L. writes:

It is not just in Britain that the Irish have advocated immigration policies hostile to the majority. According to a Newsday article John F Kennedy’s most enduring legacy might be his contribution to immigration reform in the United States. The article shows how his Irish background heavily influenced his views on immigration and diversity.

LA replied:

Maybe there should be a book, How the Irish Screwed Civilization. (Joke.)

December 24

Karen replies to LA:

It is not a sweeping statement to say that the Irish have destroyed the British cities where they have settled. They have destroyed Liverpool, Glasgow and much of Birmingham as well as the parts of London where they have settled in their ghettoes (Kilburn, Neasden, Cricklewood, Finsbury, Hammersmith). They destroyed cities (and industries) by their militant Labour support and takeover of trade unions. Cities which were once prosperous industrial and trading places were destroyed by granting voting/political rights to the Irish which the Irish then used to advance their own causes by their tribal support for the Labour party. Conservative well run cities became Labour welfare basket cases due to the rising Irish populations which drove the native Brits out.

Irish support for the IRA is like Muslim support for their terrorists. The majority of the Irish support the IRA even if they do not support their methods. Dissociating the Irish from the IRA is like saying the majority of Muslims are “moderate”. We know the fallacy of that statement. Wherever you have Irish populations, you have IRA support and the Mafia like organised crime which goes with it.

LA replies:

Could you explain further what you mean by “destroying” these cities? Especially as (which I don’t think I knew before), we’re not talking only about a recent immigration, but an immigration that took place during the industrial revolution over a hundred years ago?

Bill Carpenter writes:

Ron L.’s comment about the failure of the WASPs and the English invites an observation regarding the almost original sin: Abel turned towards God, orienting himself vertically, with his sacrificial offering. Cain, however, envious of Abel, turned towards Abel and away from God—a horizontal orientation. Sound theology, morality, and philosophy results from maintaining the priority of the vertical over the horizontal—of piety and humility, over resentment and pity. This is also the view of the Beowulf poet, who made Grendel a descendant of Cain.

Ron L. replies to LA:

I don’t consider the zeitgeist of grievance politics to be particular profound. Still, I gave it some thought while walking home. I came across a drunk, who was trying to justify his public intoxication based on alienation from the season. No one said, “Get over it” or, “Stop being a kill joy.” Instead, people gave him sympathy and even offered free drinks.

It then occurred to me that my point was incomplete. Instead of causing growth through pain, we have allowed past oppression to be infantilizing. At its core, grievance politics is adolescent behavior. It is a mixture of finding virtue in being oppressed or having been oppressed, certitude in current virtue, a desire for unquestioned compensation and revenge. Prior to the 1950s, when faced with this, the West considered it sophomoric or the self-justifications of criminals. For instance few in the West fell for the Japanese claims of anti-colonialism in their push for the Great East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. Perhaps some Communists, libertarians, and antediluvian conservatives allowed themselves to be taken in, if only because they needed to assign blame to FDR and virtue to the Japanese.

Sometime around the 1960s this died. Snotty teenagers, hippies, Black Panther, American Indian activist, MECHA, etc. were viewed as virtuous because of their anger and indignation. Accountability became a fault, and unthinking generosity and even enabling became the virtue.

Bill Carpenter writes:

Did our WASP forebears make a terrible mistake admitting so many Irish? There was a perception in the 19th century that they had overrun New England, which must have depressed the native British-Americans. Perhaps the WASP elites of the day did not mind crushing the lower and middle classes under the weight of immigration, just as our WASP-Jewish-Irish elites don’t mind doing that today—the traitors!

LA replies:

“There was a perception in the 19th century that they had overrun New England, which must have depressed the native British-Americans.”

This “depression” had a demographic aspect, as I discuss briefly in part one of Huddled Clichés:

Without immigration, the U.S. population will decline because of low native birthrates.”

Immigration does not “replenish” a country’s population, it replaces it. American history is instructive on this point. Between 1790 and 1830, a period in which the total number of immigrants was about 385,000, or under 10,000 per year, the U.S. population increased by an astonishing nine million (from 3.9 million in 1790 to 12.9 million in 1830). This tripling was due mainly to the natural increase of the 1790 population, not to immigration. As population expert Francis A. Walker noted in a famous essay published in 1891, this very high native birthrate dropped subsequent to the upward turn of immigration after 1830 and the even sharper increase of immigration [particularly Irish immigration] after 1840. The reason for this, Walker argued, was that immigrants lowered living standards, wage levels, and working conditions, which resulted in reduced prospects for the native population, which made having large families less attractive. Immigration thus caused a drop in the native birthrate, replacing those lost native births with immigrants. The same effect of mass immigration on wages and working conditions is clearly in operation today, along with the same effect on the native birthrate.

Philip M. writes::

Wow, this has been a fascinating thread.

Further to your comments on how the native population is replaced, not replenished, by immigration. I wonder if the reasons for this are more than economic? When you know that it is just you and the tribe, having children becomes a sacred obligation. When you know that millions can be brought in regardless of what you do, it undermines the urgency, and the responsibility to have children.

I believe it is damaging to English family life (for example) when incoming groups and their children must be considered “equally English” in every respect. One of the great responsibilities and sources of pride that I could have would be to father English children, knowing we are keeping our race and culture alive for another generation. But if a Somalian or Chinaman with ten children can be imported as ready-made fully-equal Englishmen, then one of the main reasons to have a family is gone. Not only will they work for less money than me, but they will even churn out Englishmen and women more efficiently. Thus, in every regard, I become entirely superfluous, as a man, a father and a worker. And they wonder why so many Englishmen and women simply give themselves up to hedonism? What else are we for? For me, this is one of the cruelest aspects of the propositional nation.

LA replies:

Philip has made profound, fundamental points here. I’ve touched on various aspects of this issue in the past, but Philip gets to the heart of it in a way I’ve never seen.

Philip M. writes:

Further to my point about the causes of hedonism-

A while ago I watched the excellent German film ‘Downfall’ about Hitler’s last days in his Berlin bunker. In one scene, as the Russians close in on Berlin, German officers and their women party, dance, get drunk and have sex whilst the chandeliers swing and windows are blown out from the battle raging outside. The scene is supposed to show the nihilistic, despairing excess of a dying regime in the face of imminent defeat. But what really struck me was the fact that their behaviour was virtually the same as that which I see in my city centre almost every night of the week. The soon-to-be-extinct Nazis acted like this because they were facing the annihilation of their world.

What is the reason in at-ease-with-itself, laid-back modern Britain?

LA replies:’

I don’t have an answer right off, but what you’re saying reminds me of The Daily Mail’s website, in which constant stories about the ruin of Britain by crime, immigration, Islam etc., are featured right along with the “Female” section, with everything about the sex lives of the stars, so that on the same page where you’re reading about, say, a Muslim girl in Britain honored-killed by her father, or about the latest knife-murder in London, or about how the Government released a terrorist rather than send him back to his home country where he might face persecution, you’re seeing features about how some star blew everyone’s mind with the lowest neckline ever, or about some TV variety hostess who’s essentially nude, with accompanying pictures. Or you see a story about a man who was beheaded outside his home in Manchester, and immediately to the right of a photo of a wheelie bin at the murdered man’s house similar to the wheelie bin in which his murderer placed his severed head, there’s a photo and link to a Female feature, “Female launches the great derriere debate, “What DOES make the perfect female bottom?” The co-existence of those two types of stories, and the co-existence of those two dimensions of Britain, is what The Mail is for me.

December 25

RB writes:

Perhaps now the eminent professor MacDonald will write a three-volume scholarly tome demonstrating how the Irish are genetically programmed to undermine every country they migrate to. I can hardly wait.

LA replies:


December 26

RB continues:

You’re going to hate this, but how about the following title for the book: “A People that Shall Dwell Malone”?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 23, 2008 11:45 AM | Send

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